Cooking French cuisine can be a bit intimidating. I know. Allow Julia Childs to influence you and give you the encouragement you need to start. Forget about all the crepes you have had on the streets of Paris or even at the touristy restaurants. Definitely any image you have of crepes made at your local IHOP needs to be forgotten. Instead, try my recipe for an authentic French Crepe: thin, light, crispy on the outer sides, and delicately smooth on the inside dressed with homemade orange syrup! Need I say more?
Without fail, whoever I have made these crepes for, have not been able to stop at just one piece. Whenever there is a special occasion, such as a birthday, I invite friends and family over for brunch and serve my specialty crepes as the main event. I garnish my table with bowels of fresh fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, and figs. Slices of fresh bread, home made jam, crème and butter are set out for my guests to nibble on while I prepare the crepes for each individual. Not only do your guests appreciate having fresh, hot crepes, but your efforts to serve them personally. I suggest you make a small batch prior to serving guests…It does take some practice to achieve the right consistency and to flip the crepes over without tarring them. It is well worth the effort. Email me if you have any questions or concerns with making this recipe.
Recipe for about 12-14 crepes, enough for 4-5 people
1 cup baking flour
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
4 eggs- room temperature
1 ½ cups milk- room temperature
½ cup cooled melted butter
8-10 tablespoon powdered sugar
¼ cup butter
½ cup sweet, freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup Cognac if desired
Fresh mint sprigs and berries for garnish
1. Gently melt one stick of butter and allow to cool.
2. Swift the flour sugar and salt until blended in a small bowl.
3. In another medium size bowl, mix well the eggs and the milk. Then add the melted butter to the mix.
4. Whip in the flour mix to the egg mix in increments, whipping thoroughly to prevent lumps from forming. Mix well to create a creamy, uniform mix. Set aside.
5. In a small sauce pan, bring to boil the orange juice, sugar and butter. Allow to reduce to a maple syrup consistency. Add more powdered sugar if the syrup is sour.
6. Once the desired sweetness and consistency is reached, remove the pan from the stove, add Cognac if you desire, and flambé with fire and allow the alcohol to burn off.
7. Check your crepe mix consistency. It should be runny and smooth, like buttermilk. If not, add enough milk until the desired consistency is reached.
8. Over medium heat warm a 10 inch, non-stick plat frying pan. Once your pan is hot enough, spoon enough of the crepe mix in the pan (this you have to eye, ¼ cup approximately) and swirl the mix thoroughly and evenly over the entire flat portion of the pan.
9. Once small bubbles form, the outer edges become golden brown, and the center is cooked, use a flat spatula to separate the edges of the crepe, and with your fingers (be careful to not burn your fingers) separate the crepe from the pan and flip over. Cook the crepe thoroughly enough to be able to move the crepe on the pan without it sticking to the pan.
10. Remove the crepe from the pan and place it flat on a round, flat dish. Spread a teaspoon of the syrup on the outer edges of the crepe. Flip over one side of the crepe on itself-to create a half. Then flip one end of the crepe over the other end, to create a quarter. Spoon another teaspoon of the syrup on the face of the crepe, sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with fruit and mint.
11. Continue the same with remainder mix.
Bon appétit! Marjan